herald

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Dublin to get 800 high-tech solar litter bins in €5m 'smart city' plan

Big Belly bins compact litter
Big Belly bins compact litter

Dublin City Council is planning to install 800 solar-powered compactor litter bins in public areas while reducing the total number of bins by 20pc.

The council signalled it will consider an initial rental contract for five, seven, or 10 years for the new hi-tech bins. Alternatively, it will buy them.

It is understood the cost for the plan will be almost €5m.

The council said the move was in line was the strategy of developing a "smart city".

The bins feature a wireless monitoring system that notifies the operator how full they are.

According to tender documents, there are 3,500 litter bins in the administrative area of the council.

Around one-third of these bins are in the city centre area.

"Dublin City Council is of the view that a 20pc reduction in the current number of litter bins on-street would be possible," said the document.

However, it said this would necesitate the installation of 800 new hi-tech bins.

The litter bins are to be powered by a "standalone" renewable energy source, namely the sun.

They would work by compacting litter as it is disposed by the public.

Existing bin locations would be used as a guide for locations of the new bins.

"Dublin City Council is looking to procure an off-the-shelf intelligent public waste system composed of a network of solar powered compacting litter bins," the tender said.

Software

The bins would be coupled with "a software application usable through a web portal, delivering real time data information on each bin status and their inventory management."

Such smart bins have already been installed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

More than 400 bins were installed in the area at a cost of around €2.3m.

The American-built Big Belly bins can hold up to eight times the amount of rubbish as regular bins.

However the bins had to be fitted with special brackets last year after it was found they were being used for illegal dumping.

This year, Dun Laoghaire was named the most efficient municipality in waste management in a Big Belly competition entered by 500 councils around the world.

The south Dublin region was recognised for increasing its capacity for collecting litter in public area while reducing the number of litter bins. Its use of computer technology to monitor levels of waste in real time helped to cut down the number of litter bins collected during a working day by more than 85pc.

This resulted in a reduction of 75pc in fleet operating costs for the council, while 60pc of collection staff could be redeployed to other areas of the council.

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